Following weeks of deliberation, expert testimony, reviews by state departments, public testimony and involved companies, the Senate Resources Committee passed out Senate Bill 138, the Alaska LNG Project legislation.
“This megaproject can offer decades of affordable energy for our citizens. It offers a myriad of opportunities to expand the reach of natural gas products throughout the state and provides jobs during construction,” said Resources Chair Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/N. Kenai). “These jobs are a great and real opportunity for any Alaskan who is fit, willing and prepared to help build this project.”
The bill now moves to the Senate Finance Committee who will take a close look at the financials of the proposed project in detail.
“A number of items came up through the public testimony process regarding municipalities’ concern over the ‘payment in lieu of taxes’ language in the bill as well as the mechanics of setting up a subsidiary to manage the project,” said Senator Giessel. “I am fully confident that the Finance Committee will dig into these topics and more. We look forward to following the discussion in Senate Finance as they continue work on SB 138.”
“This bill is an excellent culmination of three decades of good faith efforts to get natural gas to many Alaskans and get our enormous natural gas reserves onto the world market,” said Resources Vice-Chair Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River). “I am impressed with the efforts of the entire committee in moving this important piece of legislation forward.”
“I appreciate the diligent work of the Senate Resources Committee with regard to this legislation,” said Senator Anna Fairclough (R-East Anchorage/Eagle River). “I believe the committee substitute is a good starting point for the Senate Finance Committee and look forward to working with my colleagues in Senate Finance to fine tune the bill and dig deeper into the financial implications of this proposal. We are one step closer to making history and providing opportunity for future Alaskans.”
“With the alignment between the State, the Big 3 and TransCanada, Senate Bill 138 moves us closer than we have ever been to realizing the dream of commercializing Alaska’s North Slope natural gas,” said Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage). “I think the Resources Committee made some good changes to this legislation including an investigation into how to give Alaskans the opportunity to essentially buy stock in this mammoth project.”
“I’m cautiously optimistic about the alignment by all parties demonstrated by the bill, but also by the off ramps provided by the agreements that will allow the State to adjust our level of investment as the project develops,” said Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna).
“I hope that, as we discuss the bill in Finance, we will keep in mind the tax revenue needs of our municipalities,” said Senator Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks). “I am happy it has moved out of Resources and on to Finance, so I look forward to further refining it there.”
“This Alaska LNG project is truly a legacy, formulated by this 28th Legislature that we can proudly leave for our next generation,” said Senator Giessel.